I have some very simple advice for you: Eat properly – the wise words from every college student who has been there and done that. For the first few weeks you may be enticed to bring some of Mammy’s frozen dinners from home but don’t worry this phase will pass. You just need to know the tricks of the trade. Top tip – cereal might just become your new best friend; don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Just remember… snack, don’t starve.
At all costs avoid fast food. Those curries after a night out along with whatever alcohol you have consumed will cost you money and your trim getup. These treats do add up and your pocket will feel it – every time you go to the chipper you will be five or six quid less off, it’s not worth it. Go home and have a glass of water, you’ll thank me the next day.
There will come a phase when you will survive on muesli and noodles. This time will also pass. You will either lose or gain copious amounts of weight. This will regulate. Check out your college gym price plan or else find a track where you can go running. Especially if your college offers a free gym because slim chance you will ever have this opportunity again.
Think of a college as a fresh start. You no longer follow the diet of your family as you are in complete control of what food you get to buy and eat. Just be careful of how much you buy because if it isn’t in a tin, chances are it will go off within the week. Sometimes it is not always wise to buy everything from the reduced to clear aisle either.
The best places to shop are Tesco, Aldi and Lidl – the student favourites. However, it’s good to shop around for deals. SuperValu have really good quality Irish-produced food but at a price? Don’t rule out the butchers though; they are excellent for deals such as The Butchers Block – the three for €10 offer on different ranges of meat is very popular among students. It may also save you a lot of money in the long run. If you are a big meat eater then be sure to freeze meat in lunch bags to preserve them for longer.
Warning: you may become very reliant on coffee. Whether it’s a latte from Starbucks between classes or a sociable tea among friends, in fact, anything caffeine based will be calling your name. Hot chocolate proves to be popular among students too, especially when those long winter nights draw in. Whether they wake you up in the morning or you need them to keep you awake in the afternoon, you will surely develop a taste for hot drinks before your university days are over.
Now, take note of this… I am going to tell you how to be a professional scab. There will be AGMs at college. Basically these are the first society meet ups every year where the committee will be elected. If you are clever you will attend these simply for the free the pizza and if you’re lucky, wine. Yes folks, free. The same goes when walking through campus – keep your eyes peeled. More often than not stalls will be thrusting pens, paper, and lollipops but if you’re lucky, snacks. Most chaplaincies have a free lunch day during the year or once a week, so this is your chance to get all the noms. That is if times are really hard; desperate times cause for desperate measures you know. Mental health week, sexual health week, Fresher’s week and of course Christmas are the most popular times for free stuff. But try to be subtle.
To sum up, your three worst enemies are pizza, beer and coffee. Your three best friends are water, coupons and the free pizza you get at society meets.